2 Corinthians 3: 4-6 (NIV)
Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
One of the many messages that I have received from study of scripture is that as we grow into mature Christians we become as Paul states “ministers of a new covenant”, made competent by God. From this original posting and even up to now, I sometimes feel quite the opposite of competent, very immature and lacking confidence. These negative thoughts and feelings are heightened by the belief systems of others. I read a chapter in a book by Jetola Anderson entitled Presumed Incompetent in which she depicted a black woman wearing a suit getting on a plane who was assumed by some as being the flight attendant.
As a woman and African-American I too have had a large share of other’s assumptions and presumed incompetence. There are times when I do feel confident, valued and competent but what I am learning is that relying on my own skills and talents will only take me so far. The assumptions that others make about my abilities, the erroneous presumptions by others are also traps that take me away from the real mission. Jetola Anderson suggested surrounding oneself with positive people, uplifting literature and I wholeheartedly agree. To become ministers of this new covenant I have to surround myself with God the Father, Jesus our Lord, and the Holy Spirit and to do this by reading the word of God. It’s here that I am learning that it’s not about my abilities, talents or skills. Boasting, getting or receiving recommendations or praise are not the important factors. Recognizing that my competence comes from God, that the Holy Spirit has enabled me and “I can do everything through him who gives me strength”; Philippians 4:13. My mission is to spread the good news about Jesus Christ.
At my church (Pinellas Community Church), we have a card that I think states how the mission can be put into practice. It reads: “Dear Lord, Today as I go about my everyday life, help me see how my passion, for You can make an impact for good.”
Originally posted June 2010